Anne Harper was born in Mansfield, Arkansas in December 1926 to Lloyd and Ora Presson. She graduated from Baylor University in 1947. She married Daniel Harper in 1948 and they moved to Fort Myers in 1951 where they lived together for 59 years, until her passing in 2008.
While Daniel Harper was building a business, Anne Harper was building a family. When people asked, “What do you do?” She replied laughingly, “I don’t know but I am always busy.” She was indeed very busy. She was a laundress, a Chef, a Chauffer, household shopper, manager of schedules, organizer of our home and much more. These things, she felt were a part of her calling as a wife, mother and homemaker, from which we benefited more than we could have ever known then. She put her family and their well being first.
You would think that a husband and three children would be enough, but the’ lives of many people were woven in and out of our tapestry. There was always room for one more. There was room for one more on vacation) room for one more for Easter dinner, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and always room for one more in the house on Christmas morning. She’d make sure there was a stocking and a gift waiting for whomever was meant to join us. All were welcome and wanted. All were family when they were there.
Anne Harper bravely battled cancer for more than five years. The many cards and letters received during the course of her illness and then her passing in 2008, confirmed that others saw in her the same qualities that her family had lived with.
Anne Harper lived with grace and dignity through the best of times and the worst of times. Her pastor said, “Anne was the epitome of a gracious, classy, southern lady. Heaven is sweetened by her presence”. Another said, “Mrs. Harper has always been and will always be one of the most beautiful women I have ever known in face, manner and heart”. Her sister spoke of her memory saying, “The precious memory of Anne will be with us. That is one of God’s greatest blessings to us.”
It is important to her family and the beneficiaries of her life’s work to honor her memory and carry on her legacy of kindness and caring. All those touched by Anne Harper’s life carry her legacy. Her instructions to her family were simply to “stay close and love one another.”